Recognizing the Invaluable Resources Provided By the AIM Institute’s Advisory Board

aim advisory board members and staff
From left to right: Lucy Lenhardt, John Beaumont, Sean Mertes, Jay Whalen, David Hoffman, and David Rose

For several years, the American Injection Molding Institute has benefited from the guidance of an Advisory Board composed of specialists with diverse experiences and backgrounds in the industry. Once a year, the AIM Institute opts to bring our board together in-person to discuss our four accredited programs – the Molders’ Series – Molding 1, Molding 2, and Molding 3 and the Plastics Technology & Engineering (PTE) Certificate Program.

The Advisory Board came together to review and provide feedback for the Molders’ Series and PTE program on October 11th-12th, 2023.

Why are the board and these meetings so important to AIM?

Our Advisory Board comprises not only professionals spanning diverse areas of expertise but also individuals who have firsthand experience with our programs, either as students themselves or by sending students through our programs. The feedback we garner serves as an invaluable resource, enabling us to learn and enhance our content and student experience for upcoming classes. This distinctive approach sets us apart.

During our in-person Advisory Board meetings, all sections of our programs are discussed in full. For the PTE Program, that means each pillar (Plastic Materials, Mold Design, Injection Molding, and Part Design). For Molders’ Series, that means Molding 1, 2, and 3. During the meetings, AIM’s instructors give facility tours to review any changes made to the learning environment and utilizes breakout group discussions to dig deeper into each pillar. This allows our team of instructors to teach at a level that is consistent with the needs of our industry.

Our members feel a sense of pride, just as we do in having them be a part of something special.

Bill Schmidt from Nicolet Plastics, a former student of AIM, had this to say about being a part of the board:

“Being a part of the Advisory Board means that my input is valuable to ensuring that the AIM Institute is training to the needs of Industry. Whether that be needing more/different content, or if something needs to be removed/reduced. To me, being a part of the Advisory Board also means making a positive impact for the future of all training and the future of the plastics industry.”

Sean Mertes from Conventus Polymers, another former AIM student, shared this:

“The training I learned at AIM is the best training I have ever encountered. I talk about AIM to all my customers and push the value it brings. Being on the Advisory Board is an honor that I hold in very high regard. I get to meet the best people and learn about the changes that are happening.”

Jay Whalen from SABIC Specialties, shared this about the importance of the AIM Advisory Board:

We continue to experience a significant age and knowledge gap within our industry – specific ages from 28-45 and advanced knowledge around the four pillars taught in the PTE course. Being part of a group that can help make our industry a significantly more educated place with improved workforce is invaluable.”

The Advisory Board and ANAB Accreditation

All course materials and exams provided by the AIM Institute are designed around specific learning outcomes that have been identified by our diverse Advisory Board as necessary to effectively perform certain roles within the injection molding industry. This played a large part in our PTE Program and Molders’ Series achieving the accreditation and is a large reason why we continue to maintain that accreditation to this day.